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Department of Religions and Philosophies

BA Study of Religions and...

Programme Code: V627BA/CR Duration: 3 or 4 years

Overview

2016 Entry Requirements

  • A Levels: ABB-BBB
  • IB: 33 (555 at HL)
  • BTEC: DDM
  • Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction
  • Scottish Highers: AABBB
  • Scottish Advanced Highers: ABB
  • Irish LC: 320 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above
  • Advanced Placement: 4 4 4 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0
  • Euro Bacc: 80%
  • French Bacc: 14/20
  • German Abitur: 2.0
  • Italy DES: 80/100
  • Austria Mat: 2.0
  • Polish Mat: Overall 75% including 3 extended level subjects

Minimum Entry Requirements: Applicants are not required to have studies Religions at A-level, although a deep interest in the subject is essential.

Interview Policy: Candidates with non-standard qualifications may be invited for interview.

Degree Profile

Religions have always been a powerful influence on human societies. Religious ideas and practices affect relations between different cultures; they can unite or divide local communities; and they provide the context for an individual's spiritual quest.

A degree in the Study of Religions at SOAS offers an impressive range of subject areas: religions of the ancient Near East, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Shintoism, traditional religions of Africa and the new religious movements of our time.

The study of religions is concerned with the scholarly understanding of different cultures and beliefs. Staff and students come from many different backgrounds and there is no assumption of religious commitment, simply a quest for understanding.

There is a wide range of approaches in SOAS to the study of religions. If your major interest lies in the study of religious ideas and practices, then the BA in Study of Religion, combined with either a language or a specific area-studies or discipline, is the right degree for you. Students on this degree may pursue a special interest in one tradition, but they are also expected to select from a broad range of other options (with or without some language study), and to learn about theories and methods in the study of religions.

To connect the Study of Religion to a specific language/area or disciplinary area, the Department offers joint degrees in which Religions can be combined with the following subjects:

3-year combined degrees

African Studies, Development Studies, Economics, Geography, Georgian, History, History of Art/Archaeology, International Relations, Japanese Studies, Law, Linguistics, Middle Eastern Studies, Music, Persian, Politics, Social Anthropology, South East Asian Studies.

3- or 4- year combined degrees

Burmese, Indonesian, South Asian Studies, Thai, Tibetan, Vietnamese.

4-year combined degrees

Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Swahili, Turkish.

A full list of courses running in the department is available at the Undergraduate Course Units page

Key Information Set Data

The information for BA, BSc, or LLB programmes refer to data taken from the single subject degrees offered at SOAS; however, due to the unique nature of our programmes many subjects have a separate set of data when they are studied alongside another discipline.  In order to get a full picture of their chosen subject(s) applicants are advised to look at both sets of information where these occur.


Please see the Unistats data for the various combinations of this programme under the Combinations tab.

Combinations

May be combined with

+ 4-year degree with (compulsory) one year abroad
++ 3 or 4-year degree with option of one year abroad
* Taught at King's College, London

Key Information Set data

Click on a combined programme to load KIS data

Structure

General Information

Study of Religions can be combined with the following subjects:

3-Year Combined Degrees

African Studies, Development Studies, Economics, Geography, Georgian, History, History of Art/Archaeology, International Relations, Japanese Studies, Law, Linguistics, Middle Eastern Studies, Music, Persian, Politics, Social Anthropology, South East Asian Studies.

3 or 4-Year Combined Degrees

Burmese, Indonesian, South Asian Studies, Thai, Tibetan, Vietnamese.

4-Year Combined degrees

Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Swahili, Turkish.

 

3-Year Combined Degrees

  • You must register for 4 full course units or equivalent each year.
  • At least 5 of your 12 units over the 3 years of your degree must be from the approved syllabus in the subject/language to be named first in the degree title and 4 course units in the subject to be named second/Study of Religions.
  • To be eligible for an Honours degree a student must have passed a minimum of eleven courses, those passing only ten being awarded a Pass degree.
  • Only the grades of courses taken after the first year is completed count towards your final degree result. In your first year, all you need to do is pass the courses to continue. The pass mark is 40%.

4-Year Combined Degrees

  • You must register for 4 full course units or equivalent each year.
  • At least 8 of your 16 units over the 4 years of your degree must be from the approved syllabus in the subject/language to be named first in the degree title and 5 course units in the subject to be named second/Study of Religions.
  • To be eligible for an Honours degree a student must have passed a minimum of fourteen courses, those passing only thirteen being awarded a Pass degree.
  • Only the grades of courses taken after the first year is completed count towards your final degree result. In your first year, all you need to do is pass the courses to continue. The pass mark is 40%.

Programme Structure

Year One

Your study programme in year one consists of the following components:

  1. The core course Introduction to the Study of Religions - 158000096 (1 unit)
    Note: A core course is a course that must be passed before a student is eligible to progress to the next year of the degree. The other subject will also have at least one core course.
  2. A selection of two of the half-unit foundation courses (1 units total), see course list I (below)
    Note: For students who are registered for a degree in which the other subject requires three units in year one (such as BA Chinese and Study of Religions) these two half units have to be taken in the next available year (Year two for Arabic and SoR, year three for BA Chinese and SoR, and year three for BA Korean and SoR). These have to be taken in addition to the requirements for year two and three, detailed below.
Years Two and Three

3-Year Combined Degrees
For the remaining of years two and three, you take at least two course units in the Study of Religions from the wide range of Study of Religions courses available to second & third year students.

4-Year Combined Degrees
For the remaining of years two, three, and four, you take at least three course units in the Study of Religions from the wide range of Study of Religions courses  available for second & third year students.

For both types of degrees, you may choose your options from the following lists:

  • Languages in the Department of Religions and Philosophies, see course list II (below).
  • Comparative and theory courses, see course list III (below)
  • Courses pertaining to specific religious traditions, see course list IV (below)
  • Courses partaining to a geographical region, see course list V (below)

Course Lists

Courses are sorted into lists of options (as defined in the programme structure) and may appear more than once.

Note: In order to provide a broad offer, many second and third year courses run in alternating years. Courses not running in a given year, therefore normally run in the next. Students may also contact the course conveners for details on when a course will run again.

I) First Year Foundation Courses
II) Languages offered by the Department

(Language courses from other departments at SOAS can also be taken as part of a Study of Religions Degree.)

III) Comparative and Theory Courses (second & third year)
IV) Courses by Religious Tradition (second & third year)
African Religions

Limited offer in 2016/17 due to research leave.

Buddhism

Limited offer in 2016/17 due to research leave.

Christianity
Hinduism
Islam
Jainism
Japanese Religions
Judaism
Taoism
Zoroastrianism

Limited offer in 2016/17 due to research leave. Students interested in Zoroastrianism are advised to select Middle Persian, which also has a cultural component and introduces students to the religion as well as the language.

V) Courses by Geographical Region (second & third year)
Africa
East and Inner Asia
Iran and Central Asia
Near and Middle East
South Asia

Programme Specification

Disclaimer

Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning

Most courses involve a 50-minute lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes. The course is examined through written examinations and coursework.

SOAS Library

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Destinations

A degree in the Study of Religions from SOAS equips students to follow many different careers. Graduates are provided with important knowledge and understanding of peoples’ different culture, history and beliefs concerning fundamental issues which they can develop in the field of research or utilise in a professional career. Students also develop a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers in business, public and charity sectors

These include: the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources - often both in the original or other relevant languages; analytical skills to assess critically the materials relevant to a specific issue; written and oral communication skills to present, discuss and debate opinions and conclusions; and problem solving skills.

Studying a combined honours degree gives students to blend a solid grounding in another discipline or subject area which enables them to place the knowledge they gain as part of their degree within a specific regional, cultural or disciplinary context.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

The courses at SOAS are highly specialised which makes it a unique institution in the world and it’s a privilege to be studying here. SOAS has been an experience that I wouldn’t have missed for the world.

Carl Eoghain Cooper